Do you read the Bible like a book, from front to back? Or do you prefer to focus on some excerpts, like Psalms and the Gospels?
Don’t feel threatened. The question is not a loaded one! Whichever way you read the Bible, the fact is that you DO read it. And that’s commendable. In fact Bible study makes you “approved” in God’s sight.[i]
Nevertheless, if you do read the Bible systematically (from cover to cover), one thing becomes very obvious: From the first chapters to the last chapters, the worship of false gods is rife. In the Garden of Eden, Satan’s actions were not aimed at Adam and Eve’s well-being; he was seeking to be worshipped himself. (See: Isaiah 14:12-15.) And in the last pages of the Bible, Satan is still there, seeking the worship of the nations.
In the present day idolatry exists in heathen religions. Behind every heathen altar hides a demon. “What pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.” [ii]
And it also exists in “celebrity” worship. Personally, I cannot see why any “Christian” would not only exalt these humans, but also listen to their evil ideas with awe. It has to be “worldliness” at best and demonic at worst.
The worship of false gods and idols is rampant across the pages of Scripture, from the golden calf to the bronze serpent. Aaron fashioned the golden calf, and when Moses demanded a reason why, Aaron claimed it was a miracle. “It just walked out of the fire!” Even today there are those who still defend their forefathers saying that Aaron did not replace God, he merely produced a corporeal likeness of God, to aid in worship. (Which incidentally is nothing less than a graven image!).
By Hezekiah’s day, the bonze serpent on a pole, that had been the peoples’ salvation in the wilderness, had now become a downfall to many. And Hezekiah boldly pulled down the heathen altars, and went as far as to destroy that bronze serpent, calling it Nehushtan – “a piece of brass trash!” The image of the serpent is still used by the medical industry today.
But Bible-believing Christians don’t do this, do they? I am afraid they do. And that is why they get hurt so often. They put their heroes of the faith on pedestals. And, as pride comes before a fall, it is not too long before they fall off.
It is no more worthy a thing to worship an evangelist or a Gospel singer than it is to worship a pop-idol!
Paul was plagued with these evangelical superstars! He called them “super apostles. He tells the Corinthian church: ” Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.” [iii] The celebrity preachers are still at it, strutting across the camera lenses.
I am afraid that if you elevate any human being, then you will deserve what you may get.
Of course we must honour and respect those in the ministry, but we must never let our respect ever lead to celebrity status. As Paul asks, what do they have that they did not receive?
Real men and women of God will not allow you to worship them. They will make every effort to deflect all accolades from themselves, and towards the Lord.
As John the Baptist affirmed: “He must increase, I must decrease!”
Do not put your trust in princes, super-apostles – or worldly celebrities!
“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!” Psalms 146:3-10.
[i] 2 Timothy 2:15
[ii] 1 Corinthians 10:20 (ESV)
[iii] 2 Corinthians 11:5 (ESV)